tv [untitled] May 2, 2011 1:00pm-1:30pm PDT
>> please make sure to turn off all cellular phones and pagers. any documents to be included as part of the file should be submitted to the clerk. items will be on the may 10 supervisors' agenda unless otherwise stated. chairperson mar: we have 12 items on the agenda today. as the chair of the committee, i am going to do my best to keep it moving so we can get to all the items. the first item on the agenda. >> hearing on the impact of historic preservation policies on other major public policy goals, and the need to adopt legislation to ensure the policies are achieved. supervisor weiner: thank you, chairman mar. i am really impressed. this is one of the reasons that
i love san francisco so much. you bring up an important issue and people come out and care enough and are willing to take the time to talk about what everyone's position is. i want to thank everyone for taking the time to be here today to talk about this important issue. that issue is how we should balance historic preservation with the various other key policy goals in a forward- looking city. it would be hard to find someone who is not a historic preservation supporter, whether we are talking about our beautiful victorian or art deco building stock, magnificent landmarks like the fairy building, the castro theater, or city hall, or gems like golden gate park and dolores park, we all cherish the greatness of our city passed.
this is not to question the importance of historic preservation. there is near universal support for historic preservation. i enthusiastically joined that support, as i did when i supported the creation of the historic preservation commission. the purpose of today's commission is to discuss how historic preservation sits into the complex and ever-changing ecosystem called san francisco, how this policy goal fits in with numerous policy goals we embrace, goals like creating sufficient housing, particularly affordable and transit-oriented -- transit- oriented housing. and we have a goal of usable parks and libraries that reflect our past, but also reflect that recreation and library use has changed dramatically over time. goals like making necessary changes to roads and public
rights of way to enhance pedestrian safety and make our transit system modern. historic preservation is important, but it is not our cities only policy goal, or even its dominant policy goal, nor should it prevent needed change in the city, with the creating a usable public library in north beach, changing our parks to meet recreational needs, or allowing and used where houses and automobiles garages to be transformed for new uses. historic preservation is one important policy goal among various important goals. preservation should not be dismissed in the name of progress, growth, and forward momentum, given that we need to cherish and learn from our past. by the same token, other policy goals should not be dismissed or undermined in the name of preservation. while we have much to love about our past, our city has
changed, and continues to change. in other words, all public policies, no matter how meritorious, have limits. no policy, whether economic growth or historic preservation, should trump all else -- all else. our goal is to talk about what that policy balance is, and what it should be. how do we acknowledge that a living are been, world-class city needs to serve its past while also moving forward and changing? we will be hearing a number of different perspectives today. i look forward to that. first i am going to ask if either of my colleagues have opening comments. we are going to proceed. the way we are going to do this is we are going to hear from several city departments we have asked to come and talk about the
issue. i thank them for being here. we are then going to hear from the executive director of san francisco architectural heritage. then we'll enter into public comment. i think people have already given their cards in for public comment. if you have not, there will be yellow cards on the banister. we have a lot of public comment. that is great. the time limit is 2 the laminates. that does not apply to the departments. but we would encourage you, if you are able, to make your comment in less than two minutes. you should feel free to do so. you do not have to, but if someone else has said what you want to say, feel free to summarize that. everyone will have up to two minutes. chairperson mar: i urge people very strongly to keep it within two minutes. we have tall items before us, and treasure island is coming
afterwards. but i know how important this issue is. supervisor weiner: will start with the planning department. >> thank you. thank you for calling this hearing. i think it is a great opportunity for us to explain our issues and talk about some concerns that have been raised. i am going to cover a couple of introductory issues and then ask the preservation coordinator to go to a more detailed presentation. there are two things i want to mention. one is that the city has an extraordinary architectural heritage, which you have certainly recognized. it is probably the most significant on the west coast. secondly, as a department, the planning department is charged with starting that heritage, and is also charged with balancing
historic preservation issues with the general plan and other policy documents. as you said, there is a balance that we have tried to strike. i fully recognize there are those who believe we have gone too far in one direction, and those who believe we have not gone far enough. i think that is partially what this hearing is about and what we will talk about today. if i could go to a few slides and talk about what we are trying to answer today, i guess i will use the big screen. there are five key questions that have come up in the context of this hearing in the last couple of years. we will try to answer those questions today. one has to do with the role of the historic preservation commission. one has to do with the landmark commission advisory body. the second has to do with surveys we have been conducting of the last several years.
will the result in additional burdens on property owners? the third has to do with time, resources, and the cost and process of getting those approved and working on a building that is not a historic research. the fourth has to do with environmental impact reports. i think there is an important corollary to the questions. there is a distinction between restoring a historic resource and whether that should be retained. the first is a technical question and the second is a policy question. finally, there is a question of the relative weight of historic preservation compared to other policies, and the balance restrike with those policies. tday, we are going to give you an overview of how we conduct
our work in the department, the role of the historic preservation commission, and the purpose of the service. the california environmental quality act -- it is important to distinguish between what happens over the secret and what happens in other aspects of our preservation. there are other parts of the city represented by the departments here today. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am tim fry, with planning department staff. what i would like to present to you today is essentially where preservation is legislated at the local level, and where preservation policies come into play in the department process.
if you would like detailed information about the subjects, i have left plenty of time for questions. the preservation program began in 1967, with the adoption of article 10 of the planning code. this also created the landmark preservation advisory board. this was to recognize and protect san francisco's historic architectural character. in 1985, article 11 was created. article 11, when it was adopted, provided additional protection for the significant buildings in our zoning districts, particularly c3 districts. that was incorporated into the city charter. the historic preservation commission folded in under their action duties all of the buildings identified in articles 10 and 11.
the hpc act more as a decision making body, and play an advisory role not only to the planning department, but the planning commission and the board of supervisors. they are much like the advisory body the landmarks board. they are not involved in any determination under ceqa. they are not involved in related approvals. the also not involved in any survey properties. this map illustrates those buildings and districts that are identified within the planning code. there are 11 article 10 districts and six article 11
districts. this comes out to roughly 2000 properties under these sections of the code. the city is designated just over 1% of the overall building stock under articles 10 and 11. these are the only buildings that are under the purview of the hpc. just to briefly focus on survey , our survey -- this is a survey tool. supervisor weiner: given that there could be additional historic district in the future , within a historic district, the historic preservation commission is essentially supplants the planning commission --
>> in terms of article 10 districts? the hpc only has purview over certificates of appropriateness, related primarily to design review. all other land use entitlements lay with the planning commission. supervisor weiner: what about building work or you would need to get a building permit? would that go to the hpc? >> it depends on the designating ordinance. the majority of the work has to receive hpc approval. supervisor weiner: any appeal of that would go to the board of appeals, requiring a four out of five boat? >> that correct. supervisor weiner: unless there is a cu or something like that.
>> correct. the survey is a policy-driven tool. we use it to inform our long- range planning efforts. it also helps us determine whether a building is historic or not and helps facilitate survey review. a survey is a technical study, much like a transportation study. since 1968, the planning department or the community level service have been initiated. they are used to inform area plan development. however, there are some misconceptions about how survey is used. a survey does not automatically designate a property as an article 10 or 11 landmark. it does not listed on the national or california registers. there is a big difference between what is identified as a historic resource in a survey versus what should be retained and regulated under articles 10 and 11 of the planning code as a
state landmark. a survey does not create a heightened level of scrutiny or review. this is not a comprehensive map, but it does illustrate our most recent community and department initiated service. there are several city wide surveys that were conducted in the past, such as san francisco architectural heritage and in richmond survey, the san francisco architectural survey of 1976, and so on. this does give you a good idea of the areas we have surveyed in the last five to six years. >> does that include older surveys as well? >> this only includes our most recent, or surveys in process or recently adopted. supervisor weiner: and not every survey will result in a
district, is that right? >> surveys will not result in article 10 or 11 designation unless the board of supervisors designates them. supervisor weiner: but the survey would be a critical first step. you cannot have an article 10 district without a survey first. >> correct. >> the math that you see actually includes the entire survey area. within that service area, there are typically districts that are a subset of what you see on this map. that is not implying that this whole area is potential districts. supervisor weiner: i presume this is because of market octavia and eastern neighborhoods. a lot of these survey areas are some of the most transit-rich areas in the city. do you agree with that? >> yes. supervisor weiner: do you
foresee any potential impact of focusing a lot of our surveying energy on the transit-oriented parts of the city that could perhaps absorb additional transit-oriented development in terms of meeting our goals of building housing near transit? >> how we approached it is the survey is one of the many tools and studies we need to accomplish to support -- range planning efforts. what we found with the service, even though the area plans move forward in the surveys, is there were a lot of complex sites in terms of areas that werere- known for higher density or development, increased heights, etc. the survey is one component we use, but it does not necessarily become the only thing we rely on when developing policies,
whether they are transportation policies or other policies. i would like to briefly focus on ceqa. supervisor cohen: i have a question about survey process before i move on. do your surveyor's represent the ethnic community of san francisco? >> we do surveys in house and complete service with consultants. the decision or how we determine who we hire as a sub-consultant is a city process. that are required to meet the goals and objectives outlined in the city hiring program. i cannot tell you specifically whether they are made up of ethnic communities or they represente